Economia circolare heading

Breadcrumbs

The cement industry does nothing to reduce its CO2 emissions

False. The cement industry, responsible for about 5-6% of global CO2 emissions, is constantly investing in technologies and solutions to reduce its carbon footprint and contribute to the mitigation of its effects related to climate change. Buzzi Unicem is formally committed to achieving the net zero goal by 2050 through a Roadmap that provides for the following decarbonisation levers:

  • Reduction of the amount of clinker (which determines about 2/3 of carbon dioxide emissions) per unit of cement with alternative materials (slag, pozzolana, fly ash, limestone and calcined clays) and consequent evolution of the product range;
  • Use of raw materials already decarbonated in the production of clinker and cements, that do not emit CO2; 
  • Improvement of the thermal and electrical efficiency of its plants, reducing both costs and direct and indirect CO2 emissions;
  • Use of recovered fuels, containing biomass, to replace fossil fuels;
  • Use of transition fossil fuels, which emit a lower amount of CO2 (eg. natural gas);
  • Push to improve the methods of cement use by its customers, to reduce the dosages in the concrete manufactured (efficiency of cement in concrete);
  • More consciousness and integration with the construction supply chain to improve the performance of product design and innovation, in favor of increasing buildings environmental performance and lower environmental impact, optimize construction spaces and, ultimately, use less materials, reaching even so the same design objective.
  • Applied research on new hydraulic binders derived from the production of special clinkers with lower emissions;
  • Active research and dedicated projects on CO2 capture and reuse systems like the Cleanker project (www.cleanker.eu), Catch4Climate.
  • Recarbonation of concrete.

The cement sector is at odds with the principles of the circular economy

False. Every year the Italian cement sector recovers over 7% of its raw material requirements from other industrial processes, for a total of about 1.8 million tons of natural raw material replaced.

These recovered materials take the place of natural raw materials that are introduced into the grinding process to obtain the raw meal used to produce the clinker.

Furthermore, the UNI EN 197/1 standard permits the reduction of the clinker content per unit of cement, allowing the use of raw materials derived from other industrial processes. To date, the substitution of material that replaces clinker per unit of cement is around 25%, and the entire supply chain is working to increase this percentage every day.

Moreover, more than 400,000 tons of waste are kept out of landfills and incinerators and used instead as alternative fuels in kilns for the production of clinker, with a caloric substitution higher than 20%, and more than 300,000 tons of CO2 are not emitted in the atmosphere thanks to the fact that these fuels contain biomass. That this practice is fully inserted in the context of European "circular economy" policies has also been definitively clarified by administrative jurisprudence (State Council, Section IV, 26 July 2021, n. 5535; Lazio Regional Administrative Court, section II bis, January 7, 2021, n. 219).

The action and interest of the sector in extending the use of recovered raw materials is therefore constant, in order to achieve European objectives and actively contribute to the transition to an increasingly circular economy.